Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Live reporting - Elementary Q&A

Cafasso - from the enrollment numbers we see, I know how hard this would have been to figure out. The 30 reductions would be 25 teachers and 5 support.

Mullen - How many kindergarten teachers would be affected?

We would lose 9. With the 8 possible coming back, it would still be better to go with half day and improve the class sizes elsewhere in the elementary level.

Mullen - There is not a lot of items to play with at the elementary level. Teachers generally teach self contained, need prep time, etc.

Mullen - we haven't really talked about what are the "sacred cows"? We need to talk about where we want to invest the teachers back into the district.

Ogden - We did not proportion the addbacks. We targeted the two areas for reasons of class size.

Armenio - this is just devastating period. We haven't heard yet from the middle school and high school. If we go to half day, what does that do to preparation on the frameworks. We aren't teaching to the test but we do have MCAS to consider?

Kindergarten will only get half the material. Time in 1st grade would be spent going over material that could have been covered under the full day plan.

Ogden - Facilities is already visiting the classrooms to see how we could deconstruct to fit the amount of students into the classrooms. Computers, centers, etc would have to be moved out.

Goal is to reduce class size from K-5. The lower class size, the better academic success. Anything you see up there is higher than what we have seen this year.

Ogden - If the revenue picture improves, we can consider adding teachers back. This is the most dynamic budget we have worked with in years.

Rohrbach - if we add back the 8 positions, you're still recommending going with half day kindergarten. What would be the tipping point?

About in the 20's, you can't really teach 4th grade with 30 in the class.

Sabolinski - going to half day saves $700,000, closing Davis Thayer doesn't come close to that.

We don't want to do this (go to half day kindergarten).

Unemployment costs would be approx. $1.2 million. The Town may not cover that. We should be prepared to absorb that within the school budget.

This magnitude of cut would affect every teacher in their first three years and get significantly up into those with 4, 5 and 6 years of experience.